In a play described by Superbowl-winning former NFL Coach Brian Billick as hitting the outside with an elite burst and accelerating down the sideline, 18-year-old Jake Pratt scored a memorable touchdown Friday night for Vestavia Hills High School in Alabama.
It happened during the final play of a preseason Friday Night Lights match-up between Vestavia Hills and Birmingham-based Briarwood Christian School.
Pratt, a senior, got the handoff and sped to the end zone, where he was quickly surrounded by his teammates; and the cheers from the sidelines reached NFL-stadium levels.
Pratt has Down Syndrome. And, even if the moment itself was planned, there was no question Jake earned the right to the spotlight.
"My brother was not just handed this," Jake's sister Amy wrote after sharing the video on Twitter. "He is actually on the team. He goes to every practice and does every drill. He works out on his own too."
And, he certainly earned the touchdown celebration that followed.
This was his Touchdown celebration 😂❤️ pic.twitter.com/FNdxxMJgfm— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) August 26, 2017
Life has sometimes been difficult for Jake's family. A cursory scroll through his sister's Twitter reveals examples of her defending her brother when others have not been kind about his football passion. But, as you would expect, the positive outweighed the negative when words of support for Jake's most recent accomplishment came rushing in Saturday morning.
Jake is always at the Y working out. Great guy. Try to get him to ease up on Peyton Manning. Lol. Go VOLS!— Rich Brothers (@rich_rwbrothers) August 26, 2017
Jake displays great vision & sets up blocks perfectly. Hits the outside with elite burst & acceleration down the sideline. Great player! https://t.co/NVQXyKGr7e— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) August 26, 2017
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Jake has a different last name from his sister.